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Hobby RC Helicopter Models and Kits

Unlike toy grade RC helicopters, hobby grade model helicopters offer a greater level of precision and flight control. They also offer other advantages, such as the ability to swap batteries so users do not have to spend time waiting for internal batteries to charge. The advantages make them an ideal choice for enthusiasts, but they do come at a higher cost. Hobby RC helicopters are available as ready-to-fly models or as RC helicopter kits that require assembly.

RC Helicopter Power Source

Helicopter models designed for beginners are usually powered by batteries. However, those made for intermediate or advanced RC pilots may be nitro- or gas-powered. Electric RC helicopters are simple to set up, and in the long term, are cheaper to operate as there is no need to purchase fuel. They are also easier to maintain. However, flight times can be short. Nitro-powered helicopters offer minimal waiting times between flights as all a pilot has to do is refuel the helicopter, and it can fly again. This type of engine is also quite durable. Gas-powered RC helicopters are cleaner than nitro-powered ones. They are also not as noisy and less expensive to operate. While these engines are heavy and require larger models, they can fly up to 30 minutes.

RC Helicopter Rotor Type

Electric RC helicopter models come with three kinds of rotor arrangements. The simplest one is the coaxial rotor helicopter, also called dual rotor helicopter, or contra-rotating helicopter. This type is more stable than others and ideal for children or beginners. Fixed pitch (FP) models have a single main rotor and a tail rotor. However, the main rotor has a fixed pitch and achieves altitude control by rotating faster or slower. Lastly, collective pitch (CP) helicopters offer collective pitch control, cyclic pitch control and yaw control. This makes them versatile, but also difficult to master.

Complexity of Controls

The number of controls an RC helicopter offers is indicated by the number of channels. Two-channel types are the most basic and only offer vertical control. Three-channel el RC helicopters can fly vertically, to the side and forwards or backwards. More advanced pilots will appreciate the controls offered by models with more than three channels. In addition to basic movements, these helicopters can bank and perform complex manoeuvres.

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